The powerplay proved to be the edge for Humberside, even though the varsity boys hockey team had trouble staying out of the box themselves.
In their Jan. 17 match against Riverdale, the maroon and silver scored two goals with a man advantage on three opportunities.
A 4-2 victory over a fiery Raiders squad was the final result for the Huskies, but the game itself was not without its tense moments.
“We did a little neutral zone towards the end there, try and tell them not to play with the puck,” Huskies coach Dave Johnson said. “Riverdale had a couple of chances, that one kid, (A.J. Takarabe), had a pretty heavy shot.
“I didn’t want to see him get the puck.”
With a 3-2 record post-Riverdale clash, the next problem to address is balancing the goal scoring duties.
The star for the Huskies this season has been Bradley Allen, who tallied two of his squad’s markers.
“It’s not a one-man show,” Johnson said. “Everyone has to put in their fair amount of work.
“You can’t keep having goals scored from one guy because if he gets injured or a team shuts him down.”
Allen was modest post-game, downplaying his role, especially after his second notch, scored at 10:53 of the second, put Humberside up 2-0. Both of his goals were unassisted, as he pick-pocketed Raiders attackers deep in their zone.
“We just wanted to play a team game and get shots on net because it’s a pretty small rink,” he said. “We can get the puck up the ice fast, and we didn’t want to have any turnovers.”
Still the Raiders attack proved surprising for Humberside, who placed third-string netminder Max Lepre, a grade 9, in net.
“Riverdale played a lot better than we expected them to,” he said. “We underestimated them.”
Raider coach Andrew Langlands merely wanted to match the Huskies efforts pound for pound.
“We were expecting a fast, physical team, so I just figured we had to match their intensity to be competitive out there,” he said.
His charges met his command, with Takarabe sniping a shot past Lepre from a nice Mathew Tse pass. Not three minutes later, the Raiders would tie up the game with Elliot Foster jamming it in after Arland Brown’s shot.
Putting in a solid effort in between the pipes was Tommy Yee, who stopped 31 of 34 shots.
“Our goalie definitely stood on his head a few times and kept us in the game a few times,” Langlands said.
Breaking the tie late in the second, while on the powerplay, was Humberside’s Derek Coleman, fed from Isaac Bowman and Allen.
An intense period proved fruitless until the Raiders made the oft-risky call of pulling Yee with 1:17 left in the third.
A turnover let Coleman send the puck up to Michael Sucharda for an empty-netter with 33 seconds left to go.
The Raiders pressed, antagonized and the result was one player from each team being sent off for roughing minors.
Staying out of the penalty box was something Johnson said he was hoping for in games to come.
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